History of “Gospel on The Rivah”

Editor’s note. These are Helmut’s remembrances with some editing. It appears it began in 2007.

"It really began with the formation of the "Rappahannock Baroque Music Group" in Portobago Bay Estates. The group consisted of: Denise Symonds, piano, Helmut, first violin, Mildred Bohlmann, second violin and occasionally we had a base player from Vauters church. At times, my violin students would participate as well. 

"From our residence, we see the river front improvement here at Portobago. The Lord has created this beautiful spot for us. So, why not thank him and praise him right there in the midst of his beautiful creation. 

"I suggested it to the priest in charge, John Wall and it was a GO! Music was selected, heavily influenced by Baptist Mildred and Father John. Victory in Jesus, Only the Blood of Jesus, What a Friend We Have in Jesus, were just a few of the well known hymns selected. Of course, Amazing Grace was also included.  

"For the first "Gospel on the Rivah" event, the musicians were Denise, Mildred and Helmut. Vauter’s church and St. Asaph’s were invited. Johnny Davis brought over 40 fold-up chairs. The ladies of the church provided finger foods, some of us brought libations after our Episcopal tradition. We sang for about an hour and then had a wonderful time for socializing. Some of the Portobago residents joined us as well. 

"For the second event, two of my violin students played along, Emily Davis and Jaqueline Collins. 

"On the third event we were accompanied by Marilyn Newman and her wonderful harp music.

"Because of inclement weather in 2010 the event was moved to our sanctuary; it was not the same. 

"In 2011, the event moved back to Portobago on a cool, windy day. We were fortunate to have two violins, Marilyn’s harp and Susan Onderdonk on piano."



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